Upgrading from Midas M32

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by LPdan, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. LPdan

    LPdan Active Member

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    Hello,
    We currently use a Midas M32 in our local theatre, but have been running out of channels. It looks like we will get approval to purchase a new console with higher channel count, so I am curious about opinions on which to buy. We have been completely happy with the M32. Should we be looking at larger Midas consoles? Other considerations? I'm thinking 60 mix inputs minimum.
    Thanks!
     
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  2. spenserh

    spenserh Member

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    Allen & Heath D-Live, or Digico.

    Are you doing lots of Musical Theatre? Is so an SD9T might be the ticket.
     
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  3. macsound

    macsound Well-Known Member

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    Besides channel count, what are you looking for in this upgrade? More faders, smaller footprint, Dante.
    Coming from an M32 but now looking for input capacity of over 60, you're moving from a VW to an Audi. So not quite the Bentley but adding a 0.
    Is there a budget? Mixing with 2 consoles is cheaper than buying one big one.
     
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  4. LPdan

    LPdan Active Member

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    Yes, most of our performances are musical theater. We expect to need a larger footprint, so size is not a concern. The primary objective is to get more inputs. While more faders would be nice, we could live with more layers, but would not want less faders.
    While it's not a case of price is no object, the administration is very much about paying for the right solution. I know we could link a second M32, but seems kind of sloppy. My guess is we could be somewhere in the 10k-20k range.
     
  5. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    There are odd limitations to the Midas Pro series (no pre-everything sends on some, but not all models, for example). Midas/Music Group has been teasing with a "new" console and leaked pictures for a couple of years but still seems to be VaporWare (thank you, Jerry Pournell). The Pro Series has effectively reached EOL status, too, with only the X model in production although upgrade packages are available for the Pro 6/9.

    You may want to look at the Yamaha CL5 (everybody's 2nd choice) but you won't get 64 inputs and a surface for US$20k. You're looking at around $40k for a CL5 surface and 2 rio 3224, more $$ if you need the Waves Mini YGDAI card or the Dugan Automixer card.

    I think your board will find some serious sticker shock as the M32 represented a -6dB$ reduction in price/feature set. Moving up the food chain will be very expensive in comparison regardless of brand.

    Other than input quantity what about the M32 would you like to improve upon? Routing? Channel strip processing? Integration with Waves Soundgrid/Server? Recording options? More automation flexibility? More groups/mixes/DCAs? A different/better user interface?
     
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  6. steine

    steine Member

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    60+ channels

    CL3 or CL5 if we look at Yamaha, but will get above budget.
    DigiCo SD9T might be usable.
    Some might suggest A&H DLive series.

    For the channelcount I have the CL5 as 1.st, but then it could be down to mixed feelings with the Digimute.... ehhh DigiCo I have met.
     
  7. LPdan

    LPdan Active Member

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    So any good/bad with Yamaha? I’ve heard the opinion that they can be harsh sounding. What about Digico? I’ve never touched one due to price, always heard they were the Cadillac. Appreciate all the input!
     
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  8. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    The newer yamaha stuff sounds just fine. I have two Pro2's in my space... I personally like how the Pro2 sounds compared to the Yamaha stuff, but we do a lot of music so that midas warmness is welcome.

    60 channels is going to cost you at least 30k-40k. Even in the Pro series you'd be talking about at least a Pro3. With Yamaha you'll be looking at 2 full Reo boxes. If you can live with 56 your world opens up a bit. There a pro2 would do it. I'd avoid any of the Avid or Soundcraft stuff.

    But... you mentioned musical theatre. How long of runs? Do actors swap out regularly? Are you doing line by line mixing? If any of those are true, ignore everything I said above you buy a T series Digico desk. Digico has the best programming out of any console line out there. They are they only desk that Broadway uses.
     
  9. markviml

    markviml Member

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    You can do 60+ on Yamaha with a QL5 (32 inputs on board) and a Rio3224. Actually more channels if you want to route some things into stereo channels, perhaps FX over Dante.

    I personally like the layout of the QL vs the CL. I mix solely on custom layers, have a shortcut to get to that setup screen. I really like having the faders close together: easy to get my pinkie on a 9th DCA for a busy scene/band/verb. We use it in a busy PAC: bands, music theatre (line by line), a church meets here with volunteer operators, so on so on...

    Mike
     
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  10. LPdan

    LPdan Active Member

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    I'm definitely open to 56 channels. TimMc mentioned above that the Midas Pro series had effectively reached end of life? While we have been happy with the M32, I did always feel like the scene recall was less than ideal.
    What opens up if you stay with 56 channels? What's the price point of the Digico SD9T, I can't seem to find them online. Sounding kind of like decision is between Yamaha and Digico?
     
  11. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Re: Yamaha, most projects I do with Yamaha QL/CL end up going QL with Tio's.

    The Tio's and QL's are so much cheaper than the CL's and Rio's for not a seriously tangible difference. The major difference stepping up to the CL series is more knobs for the physical mix surface. Could be important to you if you are doing intensive mixing day-in/day-out.

    Moving up to Rio's...is expensive. You can get 96kHz, but the QL/CL desks don't support 96k. You can get AES/EBU, if that's important to you. My understanding is that the mic pre's are in fact different between the Tio's and Rio's, but I've yet to hear anyone make a remark about being able to discern that difference.

    I would say the vast majority of projects I see for theaters are either Yamaha ($$) or Digico ($$$$$). If you go Digico, make sure you're looking at a -T version intended for theater or you'll become suicidal. That said -- Yamaha is more universally accessible. It's much easier to find people who can mix on Yamaha than on Digico unless you're hiring top tier A1's.

    In general, I would say you will be best served by something that has Dante. Yamaha can do that natively, Digico needs a bridge. When I do Qlab into Yamaha's, I like to bring my multichannel mix in over Dante Virtual Soundcard. No external interface required.

    Both Yamaha and Digico have been good stewards to their customers in maintaining their consoles over time. Over the last 7-8 years, Yamaha has released 5 major updates to the QL/CL series, each of which has had noteworthy feature releases like adding the Dugan automixers, RTA's, control of Shure ULX-D's and Axient directly from the mix surface, etc. Similarly, Digico has done things like increase the number of channels a desk can support that you could activate by paying a small fee to upgrade your mix engine. If you bought desks from them 6 years ago, rest assured you'll be able to mix them into the ground. They're not likely to become functionally obsolete anytime soon unless your needs fundamentally change.
     
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  12. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    SD9T, retail is $40k-70k including a couple D racks depending on what you fit it out with (MADI, ST fiber, HMA fiber -- HMA being the most expensive, MADI only being the cheapest)
     
  13. LPdan

    LPdan Active Member

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    MNicolai, thanks for all that input. I took a look at the Yamaha QL5, looks like it could be a good fit. The local inputs would be nice as we have our wireless racks in the sound booth. Appreciate the note on support, that is very important to us.
    Any idea how scene recall is on the QL5?
     
  14. LPdan

    LPdan Active Member

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    The DigiCo seems like it is out of range on price. I just got a nice quote for the QL5.......
     
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  15. markviml

    markviml Member

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    It's pretty good. 90% of what I would ideally want for theatre. A combination of recall safe and focus recall on scenes is very powerful. You can chang mutes and DCAs, but not band EQ, but ocasionally a channel EQ... All up to how much detail you want to program in.
     
  16. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Re: Scene Recall, it's come a long way from the LS9 days when it sucked if you were doing more than a handful of scenes.

    When they developed the CL series 7-8 years ago, Yamaha looked at how lighting consoles handled theatrical cue stacks and used that as a basis for how they handle scenes. That's where they got the idea for their Blind function that allows you to make changes in other cues without messing up your live mix.

    Think there's some good YouTube videos demonstrating it if you want to see it in action. Just be cognizant that if you look at videos from 2013/2014, they've added features and made improvements since then.
     
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  17. BCAP

    BCAP Active Member

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    CL/QL is a good board. Probably a very tiny issue and would be far from a deal breaker for me personally but I've had some issues with the CL/QL recording function using the USB jack on the front of the console. You's supposed to be able to put a flash drive in it, and record a performance. I've found it helpful at times. No *.wav format support and the units I've recorded performances on a few times the file became corrupted during recording.
     
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  18. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    They have end of lifed any new consoles in that line. They are still supporting them though. FWIW, most consoles I see come through are either Midas or Digico. We see hardly any Yamaha. Avid has pretty much gone away except for the tours that can't afford Digico or shows where the band doesn't want to pay to re-tech their entire show. There are still a ton of Midas desks out there. I'd still pull a quote for a Pro2 just to see.
     
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  19. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    There are still Pro series desks in inventory, both at Music Group and their distributors/retailers, but I'm told they ain't building any more of them. How long Midas supports any product *might* be illustrated by how TurboSound (owned by Music Group) supports the Turbo professional lines that were only a couple years old when Music Group bought Turbo... which is to say, fuhgettaboutit.

    The desks I'm seeing on music events are DigiCo SD9, SD12 mostly. A couple of Midas ProX, some Pro2 (almost no Pro6 or Pro 9), then Avid S6L with various sized surfaces and Yammy CL/QL/Rio. Lots of Avid Profiles still working out there, too.

    Touring musical theater? The newer shows are on some flavor of DigiCo, haven't seen a Midas. One show came through with a Yammy PM-10 Rivage but I wasn't there to see/hear it.

    If the venue does more than musical theater the Yamaha CL/QL ecosystem is a good bet in terms of acceptance.
     
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  20. LPdan

    LPdan Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for all this valuable input. Our venue does more than musical theater, but that is the majority. We aren't trying to meet riders, just want a good board for in-house use, and if outside groups want to use it. I still have a lot of research to do, but I think Digico is probably out of price range, and probably going to have a tough sell buying something discontinued. Is Midas replacing these models with something new or getting out of that product range?
     
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